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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 11/6/2017

Pets have different grooming and dietary needs as well as different exercise and social habits. Just like humans, pets also have diverse temperaments and personalities. Own a large Rottweiler or German Shepherd and you may be better off living in a house that has a large back yard, as these dogs need lots of room to roam, play and exercise to thrive. Smaller pets, like a Chihuahua or a Beagle, may be easier to groom but drive your neighbors nuts with their constant barking while you’re away. Each of these dogs looks cute while a puppy. Yet, each requires regular care. If you’re a busy homeowner who’s looking for a perfect pet to call your own, consider these pets: • Turtles – Choices available to you for pet turtles include land and water turtles. Some small turtles, like the red ear slider live 40 or more years. Large, land turtles can live hundreds of years. If you get a water turtle, upgrade the tank or aquarium as the turtle grows. Make sure that the aquarium is large enough for the turtle to swim freely in. You may have to clean the tank once a month, depending on the filters that you use. • Fish – Similar to turtles, fish are relatively easy to care for. There are small fish that have lived several years, especially when given good care and affection. Avoid over feeding fish. Have fun decorating their tank and watching them swim and play. • Cats – While kittens, these pets rarely stay still, pouncing on nearly anything that moves. Grown cats tend to be independent and can keep themselves quite entertained. Yet, they do appreciate and enjoy love and affection just like other pets. A litter box, cat food, scratching rod, toys, perching area and a sleeping bed are items that cats need. • Dogs that don’t bark a lot – Pugs, Chinese Shar-Peis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, whippets and golden retrievers are amongst dogs low on the barking scale. These dogs offer companionship without keeping you or the neighbors jittery or up at night. • Hamster – The lifespan for a hamster is about two to three years. These animals are small, needing little room for play and exercise. They especially make good pets for young children. Because they can stay in a cage, you won’t have to worry about them messing up your house. They can also look out for themselves while you’re at work. • Parrots – This is another pet that can stay in a cage while you are away. Parrots can live up to 80 years. Opt for a cage that gives a parrot room to fly. Consider taking the bird outdoors in a cage once a week. They don’t talk. They rarely cry and you won’t hear them complain, but pets have needs, both physical and emotional. Before buying a pet, ask a pet store clerk to tell you the grooming, exercise and daily care that the pet you’re thinking about getting needs. You can also read books or search the web to find information about the particular pet you’re thinking about bringing home. Avoid getting a pet simply because your kids beg you to. Make sure that your everyone in your family wants the pet and will do her or his part to help care for and clean up after the pet.




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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 10/30/2017

Living in an old home is like reading an old book. When you walk through an old home you can't help but notice that there is history right within the walls. Small differences, like low height of the doorknobs, take you back in time to when we were a different society with different needs and expectations. Just like old books, however, old homes sometimes require extra care to keep in good condition. Don't get me wrong--when people boast that their old home has "strong bones" they could certainly be right. But there are some things you might have to cope with living in an old home that aren't a huge concern in a new one. If you're thinking about purchasing an old home, read this list of things you should be aware of before you buy. It isn't meant to deter, just to inform so that you're ready for the challenges you'll face when that day comes. And, if you truly love the experience of living in an old house, the work will be well worth it.

Old doesn't mean decrepit

Let's go back to our book analogy from earlier. If you have a book from the late 1800s that has been stored in a dry place, hasn't been thrown around much, and always had conscientious owners who respected it enough to repair the binding when needed, your book will be in great shape. The same is true for old homes. Oftentimes, it only takes a quick glance around the home and a peek at the foundation to see if the home has been taken care of. Just because a house was built in the 1800s doesn't mean it hasn't been renovated periodically and maintained properly.

Warning signs

If you are thinking of buying an old home, here are some things you should look out for before you sign the dotted line. Don't forget to have the home inspected by a professional as well, since they will give you a much more detailed analysis of the problems a home might have.
  • Ancient HVAC. Aside from being prone to malfunctioning, old heating and ventilation systems could also prove to be dangerous and inefficient. Be sure to have a professional inspect the entire system.
  • Pests big and small. Over the years homes begin to develop vulnerabilities to ants, termites and other pests. Similarly, don't be surprised if you find mice, bats, or other furry creatures around if the home has been empty for a while.
  • Hazardous materials. The builders of yore were excellent craftsmen, but they were using (unbeknownst to them) dangerous materials like lead and asbestos. If you have small children, even more of a reason to make sure the home is free of hazardous materials. Part of this check should also be for mold growth.
  • Inefficiencies. Old windows and poor insulation walls also tend to be issues with some old homes. Find out what the monthly utility bills cost to see how much work you'll need to do to bring them up to date.
  • Foundation issues. Eventually, nature prevails. Foundation cracks and deterioration are common problems in old homes, especially in climates like the Northeast with freezing temperatures and lots of snow, rain, and wind.




Tags: safety   home   house   old homes   old   homes   history  
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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 10/23/2017

Children. You love them with all your being. But the mess they can make of the house? Not so much. Keep reading for four tips on how to keep your home clean despite your children’s best efforts. You might even be able to get them to join in on the fun! 

1. Cleanup after playtime. Build the habit of cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to the next, this not only keeps the floor from becoming littered in toys but also makes cleaning up more manageable for little ones. A large mess can easily overwhelm small children and by cleaning up along the way you make the task easier for them to participate in.

2. Have an organizational system for corralling toys that works for you and more importantly your children. Make cleanup easy by storing toys in bins and baskets that toys can easily be tossed into. Cleanup is made even easier when you give everything a designated place so there isn’t a chance for toys to end up in organizational limbo. Do a walk through of the house sweep once little ones are in bed to ensure everything has been put in its place.

3. The easiest way to keep things clean is to minimize the amount of stuff you and your children own. Of course, this is harder to implement with little ones but regular clean outs of toys helps to balance the influx of toys that come during holidays and birthdays. Include kiddos in on the process to pick out their favorites and get them excited to donate toys to other children. You can put some toys in storage and swap them out regularly throughout the year to minimize the amount kept in the home and reignite your child’s interest in them as well.

4. Create regular routines around the house to instill clean up habits in your child early on. Create designated areas around the house for play time, quiet time or even homework. This helps children adjust to focus on the task at hand as well as prevent toys from ending up all over the house. By keeping a routine time of day to do a  household chore you’ll also teach little ones the importance of having work ethic around the home. You can even involve curious kiddos in the chore by buying them a child-sized broom or vacuum to “help”. 

Keeping a tidy home with little ones in the house isn’t the easiest of tasks. But by minimizing the amount of stuff you own and instilling a regular clean up habits you can keep on top of messes. You can even create some fond memories and bonding time with your child by including them in on the fun. Happy cleaning!  




Tags: cleaning tips   how to   children  
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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 10/16/2017

Many people think of their first home as a “starter home.” This refers to a home that is fairly small and typically is for young people who are just starting out in a new phase of life. These types of homes are generally not thought of as “forever homes.” Many times, as families expand, they will move on from their starter homes to bigger and better homes. This includes living in desirable neighborhoods and adding extra comforts that the first home may not have had. Other times, people expand on their starter home in order to make more room for children and the needs of a growing family. These homes truly are jumping off points. Studies show that the idea of starter homes is disappearing. It could be that the requirements of first-time homebuyers are changing and therefore the types of homes that are being sought after are few and far between. The expectations of buyers have increased greatly. Buyers would like adequate space and hope that their first home is not only in a great location, but ready for them to move in without much work as well. Really, buyers are looking for everything anyone would want in their forever home in their starter homes. So, is it a smart idea to search for a starter home, only to move a few years later? The answer is multi-faceted. Starter homes are typically the homes that you can afford at the present time in your life. If you decide that you can save up longer and go for the house you really want, that may be a smarter financial decision for you. There’s always an option to wait for more homes to go on the market while you rent a place. If you do decide to go for a starter home, here’s some tips for you: Don’t Try To Get Everything You Want For A Low Price Buyers tend to have wish lists of the things they desire in a house. While that’s a great idea, don’t expect to get everything you want in your starter home. Manage your expectations along with the cost of the home. See Where You Can Expand Many homes have great potential, but buyers have what they see set in their minds and fail to see what can be done in the future. Look at homes with open eyes and picture the possibilities. Know There Will Be Work Involved Purchasing a starter home means that you’ll usually need to participate in home improvement projects. Don’t go for a home that needs major work done if you’re not up for the challenge. Typically, you’ll need to be able to get your hands dirty by doing things like changing out wallpaper, painting walls, or sanding cabinets. These are the little projects that make your house your own.





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 10/9/2017

Holidays aren't the only time when you may find yourself looking for fun games to play at home. Birthdays, sleepovers, weekends and traditional family gatherings are other times when you'll love engaging in sport at home.

Turn your home into an entertainment zone

Board, sport and hand games like the ones in this article can strengthen family bonds. If you play the games in teams, relatives can spotlight their creativity and innovative thinking. But, these games aren't only for family. They are fun games that you can play at home with friends and neighbors. Depending on when you grew up, some of the activities may remind you of games you played as a kid.

Indoor bowling - You can buy indoor bowling balls, pins and game charts from department stores. Clear away space in the living room or, better, play indoor bowling in your finished basement. This game could become a family favorite with children and adults.

Monopoly - This board game has been played in houses throughout the United States since the early 1900s. About 750 million people have played Monopoly. Pull out the traditional game or introduce your family and friends to the ultimate banking edition. Looking for a great way to show young adults about banking and economic systems, play Monopoly.

Puzzles - Everyone from children to teens to adults loves to put a puzzle together. Puzzles challenge and reward.They are great brain exercises. More than that, puzzles depict amazing artistic images. Some people bind puzzles with tape or paste, then frame finished puzzles and hang them on a wall in their house.

Hide and seek - Although hide and seek is offers great outdoors fun, it's a game that works well indoors too. Play long enough for everyone to get a turn at being "it". This one is a hit with kids. If you play hide and seek indoors, place glass and other fragile items in a safe location.

Guess the movie - Of all the charades games, this one is a favorite. See how many movies you remember. You could guess the names of movies that were Oscar award winners. You could also guess the names of movies from certain genres or eras.

Cards - Card games like Spades, Tonk or Uno are great team builders. These games add fun to a Friday or weekend afternoon or evening. Holiday gatherings gain a spark with several fun rounds of card games. A kitchen or dining room table, several chairs and a good deck of cards is all that you need to start playing cards at home. Treat your family and friends to freshly squeezed orange juice and you may want to play cards for hours.

You don't need a large house to create lasting, loving and fun memories. Games, team sports and creative activities are great at bonding family, friends and neighbors. What's more, you can play games at home whether or not you have children. Houses with open floor plans invite a wide range of fun. But, if your house does not have an open floor plan, you can turn your living room,basement, yard or porch into an entertainment zone.




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